Friday, May 29, 2009

Bananas and Jelly Beans

I said I would never be one of those moms who makes a different meal for one of her kids, or all of them. But, I am. I was cursed with a child who is a difficult, picky eater. Both my brother and sister were very picky eaters growing up. I am not sure they ever got over it entirely. They did grow to love many foods, but still picky overall. Another problem is that I like to cook foods that just do not appeal to children in general (e.g., babaganouj and greek spiced chicken, or pasta sauce full of whole olives, mushrooms and capers).

When Alexander is home he eats a small variety of foods. He likes most breakfast foods mainly because most of them are sweet. But, for lunch and dinner it is always meatballs, chicken nuggets, or ravioli. Occasionally we may be able to sneak in something different (like hamburgers or tacos). He never eats any fruits or vegetables. When I serve him chicken noodle soup from a can he makes a point to pick out all the carrot and chicken pieces.

For a long time, it was difficult to get him to even eat a meal at home. We know he eats at daycare. It’s a monkey see, monkey do situation. When he sees the other children eat, then he wants to as well. His eating habits are so terrible, it is the reason we decided to have another child. We figured if there were another sibling at the table eating, then Alexander would be jealous and want to eat as well. (Well, that’s not entirely true. God blessed us with a second child and we happened to see the benefits of Alexander having a sibling.) His eating habits have been a bit better since Kristiana's birth.

Alexander has always been a candy fiend. Recently, he discovered jelly beans and we, the parents, discover their power. We have been able to get him to pick up his toys, eat all his dinner, and behave like a civilized person all with the promise of jelly beans afterward. But, a new problem has also cropped up. This is where I become that mom who makes different meals for the kids, “Alexander, what do you want for dinner?

“Jelly beans!” Alexander replies.
“No, jelly beans are not dinner. You can have meatballs, chicken nuggets, or ravioli?”

A little disappointed, “I want jelly beans.”

“No, you can have them after you eat dinner.”

Then we make him something, and the bowl of six or seven jelly beans sits in front of him as motivation to finish dinner.

Last night, Alexander was bent on having a banana for dinner. We did not have any bananas. But hey! That is something healthy! So Andrew rushed out to the grocery store and bought some bananas. Alexander ate one and half bananas. Is that bad? That’s a lot of banana. “Okay buddy, you can have your jelly beans.”

And one more Alexander tidbit. Andrew has long called Alexander, Sasha, because it is the Russian diminutive of Alexander. Sometimes Andrew calls him Sashabus (Latin ending). Recently, I have heard Alexander saying, “I Sashabus,” or simply chanting, “Sashabus, Sashabus, Sashabus.” It’s pretty cute.


Anne said...

oh my gosh. so freakin' cute! You describe your son so well--i can totally see him going through the house chanting... AH! I miss you guys :) All our love to you.

Michelle M. said...

I just found your blog today via the blog awards :)

I can totally relate to having a candy fiend- both of my kids are that way. My son, who is 3 1/2, still thinks he deserves a piece of candy every time that he goes #2 :) My husband and I are both under the impression that he purposely goes potty for the candy. Anyway...

I look forward to reading more :)